Here's Why The Kardashian Sisters Had to Nix the 'Kardashian Kard' Just Weeks After Its Launch
In the early seasons of the reality TV phenomenon Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the Kardashian sisters, Kim, Kourtney, and Khloé, made an unexpected foray into the world of finance by introducing their very own prepaid credit card, known as the 'Kardashian Kard,' in 2010. However, what seemed like a clever business move at the time quickly turned into a public relations disaster, reported Nicki Swift.
The Kardashian Kard— British GLAMOUR (@GlamourMagUK) October 21, 2021
Taking last place mainly because it was scrapped before it even launched. The prepaid MasterCard, launched in 2010, had sky-high fees and a campaign targeting teenagers, which garnered fierce criticism, leading to the card promptly being taken off the market. pic.twitter.com/E83rEFrsvu
The Kardashian Kard was designed with a particular demographic in mind—teenagers and young adults who idolized the glamorous and extravagant lifestyles of the Kardashian sisters. The idea was to offer fans a chance to 'keep up with the Kardashians' by giving them access to an exclusive prepaid debit card. Unfortunately, the card's launch was marred by a series of issues—most notably its exorbitant fees—which drew the ire of both financial experts and regulatory authorities.
As per ABC News, the controversy surrounding the Kardashian Kard reached a boiling point when Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal questioned the legality of the card's fee structure in a letter to the card's issuer. Blumenthal expressed concerns about the card's 'pernicious and predatory fees,' highlighting its potentially damaging impact on financially inexperienced young adults who were avid Kardashian fans. He went on to say, "Among the prepaid debit cards now on the market, the Kardashian Kard is particularly troubling because of its high fees combined with its appeal to financially unsophisticated young adult Kardashian fans. 'Keeping up with the Kardashian' is impossible using these cards."
For some additional context, regular bank-issued debit cards are generally free, with no monthly fees or additional charges for basic services. In stark contrast, the Kardashian Kard came with a hefty price tag. To own the card, individuals had to shell out a staggering $99.95 for a 12-month period, a fact that raised eyebrows and garnered criticism. On top of this, users were slapped with a $7.95 monthly fee, which further added to the financial burden. Even simple actions, such as loading money onto the card or seeking assistance from a customer service operator, incurred additional charges.
Kardashian Kard Kancelled after just 250 sold - fees included $99 to buy & $6 to cancel. Wait... 250 people bought them?— Steve Chenevey FOX5 (@stevechenevey) November 30, 2010
In the wake of mounting public outrage and the intervention of regulatory authorities, the Kardashian sisters made the difficult decision to terminate the Kardashian Kard just weeks after its initial launch. The move sent shockwaves through the media and financial sectors, as the demise of the card marked a significant blow to the Kardashian brand's image and credibility.
I still have my Kardashian Kard. pic.twitter.com/YW6BBQJLNH— 𝓲𝓼𝓷𝓽𝓭𝓪𝓿𝓮𝓸𝓷𝓮 (@IsntDaveOne) July 29, 2022
One crucial statistic that highlights the card's failure is the number of consumers who actually purchased it. Shockingly, only 250 individuals had acquired the Kardashian Kard before its discontinuation. This dismal figure underlined the widespread disapproval of the card's fee structure and the reluctance of consumers to embrace a financial product tied to a celebrity brand. Nevertheless, the Kardashian Kard controversy was a short-lived chapter in the Kardashian sisters' business ventures.
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